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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Attorneys Believe Defense of Former CIA Officer Will Require Disclosure of State Secrets

The Miami Herald recently reported that the attorneys of John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer accused of leaking names of covert operatives, are claiming his defense would require exposing a wide array of government secrets.


Specifically, according to the article, the lawyers claim they would have to disclose details of the CIA’s capture of alleged al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, details about the life of one exposed covert operative, information about the alleged CIA discussions on the use of contractors to torture detainees, and other classified information. The prosecution’s response to defendant’s CIPA 5 motion states:

In light of the compelling need to protect the nation’s secrets when the United States invokes a claim of privilege based upon national security concerns, a defendant, seeking to disclose classified information within the scope of Rule 16 that is protected by the privilege, is required to establish that the information is more than simply ‘theoretically relevant’ and within the scope of Rule 16.

The Miami Herald goes on to state that the charges against Kiriakou stem from his public confirmation that Zubaydah was waterboarded as well as the book Kiriakou wrote about his experiences in the CIA. As discussed in the motion to dismiss counts 1-4 and The Miami Herald article, Kiriakou questioned the effectiveness of waterboarding.


You can read the response to the CIPA motion here.

You can read the full Miami Herald article here.

You can read the motion to dismiss counts 1-4 here.



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2 Responses to “Attorneys Believe Defense of Former CIA Officer Will Require Disclosure of State Secrets”

  1. […] In the case against former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who is accused of leaking the names of covert operatives to journalists, the Miami Herald reports that the court has ruled prosecutors will not have to prove Kiriakou intended harm against the United States. Rather, the article explains, prosecutors will only have to show Kiriakou had reason to believe the information could be used to injure America. […]

  2. […] New York Times reports that John Kiriakou, a former CIA counterterrorism operative, pleaded guilty to violating the Intelligence Identity Protection […]

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